Ukraine Ticker: Blinken pledges additional US military aid to Kiev

7:00 am: Bishop Bedford-Strohm for arms deliveries to Ukraine

Bavarian bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm is in favor of arms deliveries to Ukraine. In view of the Russian war of aggression against the country, he sees the need for a reform of the Protestant ethic of peace. “Your reflection on how to deal with de facto military aggression needs to be further developed,” he writes in an article for “Herder Corrispondence” entitled “Just Peace and Military Violence”.

“If there is no moral obligation to accept military aggression without effective resistance and therefore to live under the aggressor’s occupation (…), then it is morally legitimate to defend oneself with arms”, writes the former chairman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). “It is equally legitimate to support an attacked people in their defense, taking into account the principle of proportionality, for example by providing adequate weapons”.

The image of a pregnant woman brought out of the ruins of a maternity hospital in Mariupol brought tears to his eyes. “I was wondering, would the pregnant woman on the stretcher in Mariupol still be alive if an anti-aircraft missile destroyed the deadly bomb on the maternity hospital in advance?”

War is “always a defeat” and military force is never “right,” writes Bedford-Strohm. “But there can also be situations where doing without it is even more terrible.” And Putin’s war created such a situation. “The probability (…) that a man who has deceived the world for years will be stopped by nonviolent resistance alone is close to zero.”

06:53: Kiev reports new Russian attack attempts against Kramatorsk

According to the Ukrainian army, it has repelled several Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine. “In the direction of Izyum – Barvinkove and Izyum – Kramatorsk, the enemy attempted to attack, but without success, bombing the villages of Velika Komyshuvahka, Virnopillya and Nova Dmytrivka,” the Ukrainian staff said in its report on the situation on Monday.

In the Donetsk area and further south, Russian combat operations were mainly limited to heavy artillery fire on Ukrainian positions. Only in the town of Popasna, disputed for weeks, have there been further storm attempts. In the city of Mariupol, the Azovstal steel mill was hit by bombs and rockets, it is said. The general staff has not made any statements on their own losses. The Russian side is said to have lost 13 tanks and other military technology.

5:05 am: EU foreign policy representative: no consensus on energy embargo or punitive tariffs

EU foreign policy representative Josep Borrell currently sees insufficient support among member states for a Russian oil and gas embargo. This also applies to alternative sanctions such as a punitive tariff on Russian oil and gas supplies, Borrell told the “Welt” newspaper. He believes that an oil and gas import ban or a punitive tariff is important to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin and bring him to the negotiating table. “But at the moment we in the EU do not have a united position on this issue”.

The topic will be discussed again at the next EU summit at the end of May and the discussion will continue until then.

04:55: Fire in a Russian oil depot near the border

According to Russian news agencies, a fire broke out in a Russian oil depot in the city of Bryansk. It is unclear whether the fire was related to the war in Ukraine. The city of Bryansk is located about 380 kilometers southwest of Moscow and is the capital of the homonymous region, which borders Ukraine.

4:42: Sanctions hit the Russian economy

The Congressional Research Service, a US Congressional research service, says sanctions on post-Crimean annexation had only a modest impact because the US practically acted alone. This time there are many international supporters. But Michael Alexeev, a Russian economics expert at Indiana University in America, is very skeptical. “As long as Russia continues to sell oil and gas, it will make it.”

Even if Putin denies it, the sanctions against the Russian economy are taking effect:

– The country is experiencing the highest inflation in the past two decades. The state statistics agency Rossat rated it at 17.3% in March.

– Some Russian companies have had to close, according to several reports, a tank manufacturer can no longer produce due to lack of parts. US government officials also point to the closure of Lada car factories.

– According to the city, the Moscow metropolis is facing a loss of 200,000 jobs due to the closure of the operations of foreign companies. More than 300 companies withdrew, and international supply chains were largely disrupted after transport companies Maersk, UPS, DHL and others withdrew from Russia.

– Due to the freezing of its foreign exchange reserves, Russia can no longer repay its foreign currency bonds in dollars. Address the risk of foreign debt default, which is likely to ban the country from credit markets for years to come.

3:50 am: Selensky congratulates Macron on his re-election

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on his re-election and called him a “true friend”. He appreciates France’s support, Selenskyj tweeted on Monday evening. “And I am convinced: we will walk together towards new common victories. Towards a strong and united Europe”.

Macron prevailed in Sunday’s runoff for the French presidency against right-wing challenger Marine Le Pen.

03:37 am: The Greens want to use subway stations and underground car parks as shelters

In response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the Greens in the traffic light coalition want to reform civil protection and disaster control in Germany. According to a 15-point program available to the “Tagesspiegel” (Monday), many more shelters are to be created nationwide. “One possibility, for example, is to include fundamentally suitable buildings such as subway stations, underground parking lots or basements in public buildings in the protection concepts,” says the draft that the federal executive committee wants to adopt on Monday.

The entire civil protection must be strengthened, he continues: “This includes large capacities for welcoming and caring for people, as well as the expansion of emergency wells for the supply of drinking water”. In addition, there is an urgent need to reform the current rules on stocks, which have so far been limited to a few areas such as basic food supplies or oil stocks. “With adequate protective equipment, medicines, medical equipment or technology, national crises require provisions that can be quickly accessed.”

2:12: The EU plans new sanctions on Russia

The European Union (EU) is preparing further sanctions against Russia. “We are working on a sixth package of sanctions and one of the issues we are considering is some form of an oil embargo. If we impose sanctions, we must do so in a way that maximizes the pressure on Russia by minimizing collateral damage for we have minimized. “European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told the Times newspaper.

2:00 am: Accommodation for refugees could become more expensive

Shortly before the cabinet deliberations on the supplementary budget, the SPD does not exclude additional costs for the accommodation of war refugees from Ukraine. “It is important that there is no lack of accommodation for refugees due to financing problems”, says the vice-president of the SPD parliamentary group, Verena Hubertz, of the newspaper “Rheinische Post”. “We need a new living space and moving is exacerbating the problem.” The special KfW program, which was launched at short notice and supports cities and municipalities in the creation, modernization and equipping of refugee facilities, is “an important first step”. Due to the strong demand from the municipalities, however, the SPD politician did not rule out that the extraordinary program, already raised to 500 million euros, will not be enough. On Wednesday, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) will present the supplementary budget to the cabinet.

12:31 pm: Call for SPD exclusion procedures for former Chancellor Schröder

After the recent statements by Gerhard Schröder in an interview on the war in Ukraine, the mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko calls for Western sanctions against the former chancellor. “Anyone who continues to work for the war criminal Putin must be severely sanctioned,” Klitschko told the Bild newspaper. Schröder is part of the Putin system and therefore “shared the responsibility for the massacre of women and children in Ukraine. Given his propaganda for the Kremlin, one wonders why Schröder lives in Hanover and not in Moscow”.

The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst (CDU), is also calling for the leadership of the SPD to initiate a party expulsion procedure against former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder due to his statements in the New York Times about the war in Ukraine . “The interview with the New York Times is quite disturbing and there must be consequences. The entire leadership of the SPD said: if Gerhard Schröder sticks to his well-paid mandates with Putin, he can no longer be a member of the SPD. “, Wüst tells” Picture TV “. He now he says that’s exactly what he intends to do. “That is why the SPD is now called to put his words into practice”.

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